For those of you who are new to the Essex 11+. I have put up all of the information that I have, perhaps some other "old hands" could add details that I have omitted.
The test is taken in one of the local high schools. You can choose which school, it does not have to be your first choice, within the limit of girls at Girls Schools and boys at Boys Schools.
Nervous children may be better at St.Bernards and St.Thomas More as fewer children take the exam there.
Format of the exam
40 minute English test (25% of the marks)
Very short break (while the papers are swapped - children remain seated)
35 minute maths test (25% of the marks)
Long break (15-20 mins - children leave their desks)
50 minute VR test, 80 multiple choice questions (50% of the marks)
The English and the maths papers are written by one of the teachers from the Essex High Schools. The VR paper is provided by GL Assessment. The two previous years' maths and English papers can be purchased from the consortium of selective schools in Essex (CSSE) http://www.csse.org.uk
. Older papers are not available. A sample VR paper can also be purchased.
Suitable material for the English paper can be hard to obtain, many local tutors write their own papers in the appropriate format.
Maths needs the development of problem solving skills, Primary Maths Challenge style questions are helpful.
The English paper is a comprehension, usually from a 19th century text. There are 50 marks.
The paper usually has about 30 marks allocated to comprehension skills. These are often subtle and quite difficult. The format is tick box style, with some written answers.
10+ marks for word matching. Find the word in the text that means....
6-8 marks for punctuating a piece of direct speech.Edit: The 2011 entry paper was still a comprehension, but the word matching section was omitted and a spelling section was added. There were questions on the parts of speech and literary devices such as personification, simile, etc. The maths paper for the last three years has been easier than those given previously.
The maths paper is tough, harder than the GL assessment papers. It begins with arithmetic on the first page, there are questions involving area, bar charts, angles, percentages, ratio, BIDMAS, algebra, etc. Often the questions are not straightforward and the final question has been of the standard expected for the Junior maths challenge (aimed at bright year 8 children).
The VR paper follows the format of most other counties, it is essential that children learn how to use the multiple choice format. This has only existed in Essex for a few years. This site has a great deal of information and resource lists.
Only Colchester Royal Grammar School has a 13+ entry system and they only have four places available.